Beautiful Sydney

 We took a hotel shuttle and dropped off our luggage at the hotel Mercure George Street Sydney.  Our room wouldn’t be ready until 11:00AM and it was 8:45AM.  We tooks a few items and my little point and shoot digital and struck off down the main drag George street towards The Rocks and the Opera house.  It was a long walk as we stopped often to window shop.  I must say it all seemed a little weird – walking around Sydney gives the impression of a mixture of downtown Toronto mixed with old montreal sprikled with a little Vancouver foleded into a big helping of driving on the wrong side of the road. 
 It took us an hour and half to stroll the length of George St all the while I don’t think it sunk in that we where actually here.  It finally became real as we set eyes on the Opera house and sydney harbour bridge for the first time – for the record it’s more off white than the  pictures I’ve seen – or atleast how I’d imagined it based on the photos I’d seen – but you’ll have to see it for yourself to know what I mean.

I have cankles

4:30 AM Air Canada Flight AC0033 somewhere along the coast of Australia
Something about sitting in a more or less upright posuition for 28 hours straight doesn’t do wonders for the lower half of the body specifically the lack of definition I have dividing my lower leg from my feet.  I USED to have discernable ankles but due to swelling I now have cankles.  Not to worry one night of lying horizontal should take care of it – unfortunately that’ll be awhile since we land in Sydney at 6:30 AM local time we won’t be able to check into our room until 11-ish.  Besides the best way to cure jet lag is to get on local time as soon as possible -or so they say-  I read in the in flight magazine that NASA recommends 1 Day per Time zone crossed to cure jet lag – that would mean we won’t be recovered until 9 days from now (at least that’s what my jet lagged brain tells me the caulation is).

You can’t buy the T-shirt if didn’t leave the airport
 We had a 40 minute turn around in honalulu everyone had to deplane with all our belongings while the whole plane was inspected by US Customs.  One of the only stores open was selling souvenirs of Hawaii.  Including some nice items we wouldn’t mind getting but there is no point in having a souvenir if you’ve only been to a place for 40 minutes in the dead of night – maybe next time.

The first half is free

 One thing we’ve learned is apparently no one in today’s modern airports or employed in our national airline is capable on giving the complete set of information.  Perhaps it’s changes in recent security measures, or perhaps it’s that there are no more check-in agent (it’s electronic now).  In Ottawa airport one person told us we would have to collect all our bags and clear US customs in Vancouver the second person didn’t seem to know for sure and finally told us no we didn’t that our bags were checked through.  So when we arrived in Vancouver we lazily wandered around window shopping in the various concourse shop until we realized that we did in fact have to clear US immigration, due to our short stop in Honolulu.  Then  once we go through the customs agent we found a luggage carousel were our checked luggage had been doing laps for the last hour.  We grabbed 2 carts and collected said luggage expecting to go through a customs inspection in the next room only to find we actually had to put it on a new conveyor some 40 feet away from the collection point.  You’d think this was information someone would have given us somewhere along the way.
 Oh well – we did find a spa that gave 20 minute chair massages on the other side of US check point.  It figures it’d be in Vancouver but what a great idea!  Beth and I were thoroughly relaxed for the next leg of our journey.

Bloggers must have nothing to do

Location Ottawa airport 12:30 PM waiting to board flight AC189 to Vancouver… Over the past few months I’ve read a few blogs – specifically travel blogs and espicially about a girl in the US who is taking her second whack at travelling around the world. Now that I’ve started my own blog I’ve found it hard to force myself to update it with any kind of frequency. I was planning on writing witty anicdotes about the planning and packing stages – but here it is the trip has started and I’m writing this in an airport. Well, basically I have no time – and this is from someone who sits in front of a computer all day (working very hard I might add -between power failures and wiring misshaps- Hi Mike K. and Dave H.!). Maybe it’s the nature of travel that gives travelling bloggers the time to collect thier thoughts or more that likely it’s thier desire to have a connection with friends and family at home that pushes them to update. I know when I went to Thailand in 2002 pre-Blog universe I put together a Yahoo group and had friends and family subscribe to it as a way of sending a news letter out to those interested to tell them how my trip was going. I will endeavour to wirte something at least once every two days on this trip and post those entries whenever an internet connection presents itself – Although the $10 a day wireless at the ottawa airport is alittle too pricey for me right now – I’ll save up this entry to post once we have arrived or perhaps during our layover in Vancouver.